KINGSTON: Captain Virat Kohli declined to enforce the follow-on despite India taking a commanding 299-run first innings lead over the West Indies, opting to bat their way into an unassailable position on the third day of the second and final Test in Jamaica on Sunday.
At lunch the tourists were 16-1 with an overall lead of 315 despite Kemar Roach’s early breakthrough for the home side.
Roach was last out in the West Indies first innings of 117 as the lower order offered a bit more resistance on the third morning than the frontline batsmen had shown late on day two, when Jasprit Bumrah’s hat-trick was the highlight of a demolition job by India’s fast bowlers.
Bumrah failed to add to his six-wicket tally from Saturday and it was left to the other frontline bowlers — pacers Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma and spinner Ravindra Jadeja — to eventually claim the last three wickets after 75 minutes’ play.
Shami produced a steep lifter to remove Rahkeem Cornwall via a simple catch to Ajinkya Rahane at gully, while Sharma accounted for the other overnight debutant, Jahmar Hamilton, Kohli holding on to the chance low at third slip.
With last man Shannon Gabriel at the other end, Roach opted to hit out against Jadeja but could only spoon a catch to Mayank Agarwal at cover.
Mindful no doubt of managing the workload on his bowlers in extremely hot conditions, Kohli opted to bat a second time, presenting Roach with the opportunity to lift his tally of Test wickets to 191, one short of legendary former West Indies fast bowler Wes Hall.
He earned a leg-before verdict against Agarwal which the batsman attempted in vain to have overturned.
On Saturday Bumrah tormented West Indies as the home team’s all-too-familiar batting woes continued with another collapse.
Bumrah had left-hander Darren Bravo (4) caught at second slip, before trapping both Shamarh Brooks and Roston Chase lbw for golden ducks to get what was just the third Test hat-trick by an Indian, following Harbhajan Singh against Australia in Calcutta in 2001 and Irfan Pathan against Pakistan in Karachi in 2006.
It was the 44th hat-trick in Test history and the first at Sabina Park.
Bumrah picked up three other wickets to finish the day with 6-16 off 9.1 overs, after last week taking 5-7 in the second innings of the first Test.
Bumrah, playing his 12th Test, had already dismissed opener John Campbell caught-behind for two before embarking on his hat-trick in his next over.
Bravo fell to a beautiful outswinger that he had little choice but to play, the ball flying to Rahul who took a sharp catch.
Brooks was next to go after he was trapped in front of middle stump and compounded the error by wasting a review.
Chase, by contrast, was given not out after being hit on the pad. However, Kohli decided to review and replays and tracking technology showed the ball would have struck leg stump.
The decision was overturned, Bumrah was mobbed by his team-mates, and Chase trudged off. He was not finished as he soon had opener Kraigg Brathwaite caught-behind for 10, and the home team were on the ropes at 22-5.
He left the field shortly afterwards with a calf cramp, but not before having bowled India into a match-winning position.
In Bumrah’s absence, Shimron Hetmyer clobbered seven fours in a knock of 34 before being bowled off an inside edge to Shami.
Later, Bumrah returned and continued to weave his magic. With his first ball of a new spell, he had West Indies captain Jason Holder caught at mid-off for 18.
Earlier, India resumed on day two at 264-5 and batted themselves into a commanding position as Hanuma Vihari scored his maiden century in his 10th Test innings.
Vihari had come within seven runs of a century in the first Test in Antigua last week, and he did not let the opportunity go begging this time.
He made 111 and shared in a 112-run eighth-wicket partnership with Ishant Sharma, who chipped in with a career-high 57.
Holder was the pick of West Indies’ bowlers with 5-77, picking up his 100th Test wicket in the process.
INDIA (1st Innings):
K.L. Rahul c Cornwall b Holder 13
M.A. Agarwal c Cornwall b Holder 55
C.A. Pujara c Brooks b Cornwall 6
V. Kohli c Hamilton b Holder 76
A.M. Rahane c Hamilton b Roach 24
G.H. Vihari c Roach b Holder 111
R.R. Pant b Holder 27
R.A. Jadeja c Bravo b Cornwall 16
I. Sharma c Hetmyer b Brathwaite 57
Mohammed Shami c Hamilton b Cornwall 0
J.J. Bumrah not out 0
EXTRAS (B-11, LB-19, W-1) 31
TOTAL (all out, 140.1 overs) 416
FALL OF WKTS: 1-32, 2-46, 3-115, 4-164, 5-202, 6-264, 7-302, 8-414, 9-416.
BOWLING: Roach 30-9-77-1 (1w); Gabriel 21-4-74-0; Holder 32.1-9-77-5; Cornwall 41-10-105-3; Chase 14-4-45-0; Brathwaite 2-0-8-1.
WEST INDIES (1st Innings, overnight 87-7):
K.C. Brathwaite c Pant b Bumrah 10
J.D. Campbell c Pant b Bumrah 2
D.M. Bravo c Rahul b Bumrah 4
S.S.J. Brooks lbw b Bumrah 0
R.L. Chase lbw b Bumrah 0
S.O. Hetmyer b Shami 34
J.O. Holder c sub b Bumrah 18
J.N. Hamilton c Kohli b Sharma 5
R.R.S. Cornwall c Rahane b Shami 14
K.A.J. Roach c Agarwal b Jadeja 17
S.T. Gabriel not out 0
EXTRAS (B-8, LB-5) 13
TOTAL (all out, 47.1 overs) 117
FALL OF WKTS: 1-9, 2-13, 3-13, 4-13, 5-22, 6-67, 7-78, 8-97, 9-117.BOWLING: Sharma 10.5-3-24-1; Bumrah 12.1-3-27-6; Mohammed Shami 13-3-34-2; Jadeja 11.1-7-19-1.
INDIA (2nd Innings):
K.L. Rahul not out 6
M.A. Agarwal lbw b Roach 4
C.A. Pujara not out 5
EXTRAS (LB-1) 1
TOTAL (for one wkt, 9 overs) 16
FALL OF WKT: 1-9.
BOWLING (to-date): Roach 4-1-7-1; Holder 3-2-4-0; Cornwall 1-0-4-0; Gabriel 1-1-0-0.
Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2019